Skip to main content
The official hub for news and stories from Colorado Mesa University
CMU Foundation secures $50,000 from Caring for Colorado Foundation to address community health care shortage

Grant award will assist physician assistant program with diagnostic equipment

Grand Junction – Colorado Mesa University President Tim Foster believes that preparing the future health care workforce of western Colorado means equipping students with real-world tools that prepare them for the job. On February 1, 2019, the Caring for Colorado Foundation approved a grant to the CMU Foundation that will expand availability of critical training equipment for one of the university’s growing health care programs.

“The Caring for Colorado Foundation Board of Directors should be commended for their understanding of our community need when it comes to health care,” said Foster. “The strength of a health care workforce has a direct correlation with CMU’s ability to train people and facilitate excellence when it comes to health care related programs. Modern, state-of-the art equipment is an important part of that equation."

Jeremy Hawkins, PhD, ATC, head of the Department of Kinesiology, believes the grant is just the latest in exciting news when it comes to CMU creating holistic learning around health care. The enhancement of the physician assistant (PA) program follows the trajectory of other advanced health care degrees, including the Master of Science in Athletic Training set to begin in the Fall of 2019 and the Doctor of Occupational Therapy slated to begin in January 2021. Hawkins anticipates additional advanced health care related degrees will begin in the coming years and believes the grant award shows people are recognizing CMU’s rise in the health care space.

“CMU has created an ecosystem of health care training that matches the needs of local providers. From health clubs and rehabilitation centers to clinics and hospitals CMU students are the future of the local health care scene,” said Hawkins. “This award is appreciated and a reflection of that reality.”

Leaders at the foundation applauded CMU's efforts to pursue opportunities enriching health care services in the region.

“We commend Colorado Mesa University for its recognition of the continuing need for trained health care professionals in the region. Western Colorado is fortunate to have institutions like Colorado Mesa University as a partner in recognizing and serving the needs of Coloradans,” said Chris J. Wiant, MPH, PhD, president and CEO of Caring for Colorado Foundation.                  

The equipment provided by the grant includes task trainers, mannequins and simulators for students to learn the necessary clinical skills while also allowing faculty to assess student competency.

Media are encouraged to schedule site visits at the CMU PA facility to learn more about the program and the benefits provided by the grant. Members of the public interested in supporting the PA or health care related programs are encouraged to contact the CMU Foundation.


CMU President Tim Foster announced in September 2018 that the Accreditation Review Commission on Education for the Physician Assistant granted the CMU Master of Physician Assistant studies Accreditation-Provisional and gave final approval to offer the program by the Higher Learning Commission on December 3, 2018. Foster highlighted this accreditation is a major health care milestone for CMU and the community. 


Written by David Ludlam